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Lesson Transcript

Yura: Pronunciation Series Lesson 3. Five special letters. Hi, everyone.
Iva: Welcome back to the pronunciation series.

Lesson focus

Yura: In the past two lessons you learned how to pronounce the consonants, the semivowels and the six vowels which make the Bulgarian language. In this lesson, we’ll tell you about some special consonants, those which look like English letters, but are pronounced differently. Eva, what are the consonants?
Iva: Well, there are five of them. „B”, „H”, „P”, „C” and „X”.
Yura: So, how do we pronounce this consonants if they aren’t pronounced as their English look alike?
Iva: They’re pronounced as в („v”), н („n”), р („r”), с („s”) and х („h”).
Yura: We recommend that you look at the lesson notes so that you can see what we mean by this. So, first, we have в. Eva, can you provide some examples with this particular letter?
Iva: Sure. We have виждам which means „to see something”, and we have the standard apology such as Съжалявам which means „sorry”.
Yura: Those are good. виждам - „to see” and съжалявам - „sorry”. Notice that the в looks like the English „b”, but Bulgarian people don’t pronounce the в like „b”. Instead, how do they pronounce them?
Iva: They pronounce them as в, so that виждам sounds like “vizhdam” and съжалявам sounds like “sazhalyavam”.
Yura: Next, we have н which is also very common.
Iva: That’s right. And when we usually say this letter in words we directly consider it as an „h”.
Yura: The one that most people are familiar with is the Holy Book of Christianity, The Bible and its New Testament. Some people pronounce it as “Hoviya zavet”. How is this word pronounced by Bulgarian speakers?
Iva: Bulgarians pronounce this like н - Новия завет “Noviya zavet”.
Yura: I see. So, the New Testament is Новия завет.
Iva: That’s correct.
Yura: All right. The next letter we have is?
Iva: р.
Yura: Yes, the letter that looks like „p” of the English alphabet. What are some words that have this particular letter?
Iva: First, we have роза which means „rose”. We also have време which means „time” or „weather”.
Yura: And then?
Iva: We have another similar case with letter с. The “с” in специалност is pronounced as с “s”. So, people pronounce this word as специалност – „specialty”.
Yura: I see. Is this something you just have to learn through experience?
Iva: You can put it that way, right. You just have to learn how to pronounce this letters correctly.
Yura: All right. And, finally, we have the letter which looks like another English letter „x”.
Iva: Yes. This is х.
Yura: Now, this is pronounced like „h” in the word „hear”. Eva, can you give us some more examples?
Iva: Ok. We have хора which means „people”. Another good one is смях which means „laughter”. Смях.
Yura: Right. We have to be careful and remember how to pronounce these letters.
Iva: Right.


Yura: Again, we recommend listening to these sounds while following along with the lesson notes.
Iva: So, listen again until you have these sounds down.
Yura: That’s all for now. See you next time.
Iva: Bye.